Naturopathy FAQ's


+ CAN I SEE MY FAMILY DOCTOR OR NURSE PRACTITIONER WHILE I AM SEEING A NATUROPATH?

You don’t need to choose one over the other. You can absolutely see a naturopath at the same time as your family doctor or nurse practitioner.

Many people choose to build a healthcare team around themselves made up of many different healthcare providers. Naturopaths work together with and refer patients to other healthcare providers all the time.

Naturopaths can recommend and monitor natural therapies or treatments that work with any mainstream medical therapies or medications you may already be receiving. This is called complementary care. Or, where appropriate, we may work with your family doctor or pharmacist to recommend alternative therapies or treatments.

Naturopathic treatments rarely conflict with mainstream medical treatments, procedures or prescriptions.

Naturopaths are also trained to understand and avoid interactions between natural therapies and prescription medications, or to use them to your advantage to increase the effectiveness or decrease side-effects of mainstream medical treatments, procedures or prescriptions.

Even in cases where mainstream medical care is highly recommended, like surgery for example, your naturopath can help you before and after your procedure to minimize discomfort, speed healing and shorten recovery time.

+ IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE COVERED UNDER OHIP?

Unfortunately, Naturopathic medicine is not currently covered under OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan).

However, naturopathic services are covered by most extended healthcare plans up to a certain amount per family member per year. Check with your provider regarding the details of your coverage.

Alternatively, naturopathic services can be claimed as a medical expense on your tax return.

Effective February 12th 2014, naturopathic services became tax-exempt across Canada.

+ DO I NEED A REFERRAL TO COME TO YOUR CLINIC?

No, you do not need a referral to come to our clinic.

To book an appointment or a free 15-minute introductory visit please call the clinic at 613-431-7272 with your preferred date and time.

+ IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE SCIENTIFIC?

The research base supporting natural therapies and naturopathic medicine is growing. Naturopathic Medicine is also becoming a more mainstream healthcare choice.

When helping patients choose between therapies available to them, Naturopathic doctors consider the available scientific evidence as well as evidence of traditional use, clinical experience, and patient preferences.

+ A LOGICAL APPROACH

Naturopathic Doctors seek to understand each patient as a whole and all of the factors which are impacting an individual’s health.

Like your medical doctor or nurse practitioner, a naturopathic doctor will take a thorough case history, and gather information from relevant physical exam, laboratory tests and imaging, provide you with preventative health information, encourage you to make dietary and lifestyle changes, and work with you to provide effective treatment and help you achieve your health goals.

In contrast to your medical doctor or nurse practitioner, a naturopathic doctor may spend much more time with you as a patient one-on-one, have access to different therapeutic tools, and may offer a fresh perspective of your case which is more holistic and health-focused rather than disease-focused.

Naturopathic doctors generally focus on restoring health and proper function rather than treating disease.

The naturopathic principles which guide our approach include: first do no harm – using the most gentle yet effective treatment available, supporting the body’s natural tendency towards healing, individualized treatment for the whole person, listening to the body – identifying and treating the root cause of disease rather than masking symptoms, and to teaching the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

+ IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE SAFE?

The safety record of Naturopathic Medicine is excellent. We have been regulated in Ontario since 1925, and we have been practicing IV therapy as a profession in Ontario for well over a decade.

Our excellent safety record makes sense given our comprehensive training, our ongoing continuing education and practice standards requirements, and our emphasis on natural, preventative and non-invasive therapies such as diet and lifestyle changes.

Naturopathic doctors are also knowledgeable about interactions between naturopathic remedies and conventional medicines, and are trained to recognize health problems which are outside of their training or their scope of practice (what they’re legally allowed to do in Ontario), so that they can refer patients to the appropriate health care professional for care if needed.

Naturopathic Doctors are also open with patients about the potential risks and benefits of any therapies offered so that patients can make an informed choice about what treatment is right for them.

+ DOES NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE WORK? IS IT EFFECTIVE?

NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE IS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR A WIDE RANGE OF HEALTH CONCERNS

Naturopathic Doctors take the time to get a full picture of what is going on in terms of your health, and get to the root cause of your health concerns.

We offer a wide range of services and we work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and helps you achieve your health goals.

GOOD HEALTH TAKES TIME

Though many of the therapies we have access to are highly effective and some can even bring quick and lasting relief, many health concerns are related to what we do on a daily basis.

It can take time to learn how to support our bodies and our health, especially in our busy lives. It can also take time to learn how to look at our symptoms differently and to learn how to listen to our body instead of getting rid of symptoms because they’re inconvenient or annoying.

As naturopaths, our focus is on health – restoring health, bringing the body back into balance, and encouraging normal function, rather than focusing on treating disease. We treat the patient in front of us, not just their disease.

We look at the physical, mental-emotional, spiritual, social and environmental aspects of your health and work with you to come up with an individualized treatment plan that helps you achieve your health goals.

WHAT YOU DO ON A DAILY BASIS MATTERS IN TERMS OF YOUR HEALTH

The foundation of any treatment plan involves practical lifestyle recommendations to help you move towards a more supportive everyday routine. We speak to many of our patients about the importance of good quality sleep, adequate water intake, good quality nutrition, recreation and play, stress management and the art of relaxation.

No pill, supplement or treatment can do for you what a supportive diet and lifestyle can. If there’s something you are doing on a regular basis that is keeping you from attaining a better level of health, or is keeping you from doing what you love, we can can help and encourage you to move gradually to a more supportive everyday routine in a way that makes sense to you.

I encourage all of my patients to have or build a support team as they begin to make lifestyle changes. Often having someone else, be it a partner, family member or friend, undergoing naturopathic care at the same time, will help ease you both toward better health.

THE IDEAL PATIENT

The ideal naturopathic patient has the flexibility and willingness to make changes in their life, and become an active participant in their own healthcare.

They are also willing to begin paying attention to their symptoms and are willing to commit to Naturopathic Medicine for at least one year (4-5 visits).

+ WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO NATUROPATHS HAVE?

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) have a minimum of seven or eight years of post-secondary training, including three to four years of undergraduate study followed by four years at a CNME (Council on Naturopathic Medical education) accredited Naturopathic College.

At Naturopathic college, we receive over 4200 hours of academic and clinical training including over 1200 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in:

  • Basic sciences such as anatomy, embryology, histology, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, immunology and pharmacology

  • Clinical sciences such as laboratory diagnosis, physical and clinical diagnosis, radiology, minor surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, gynecology, geriatrics, environmental and public health, health promotion and disease prevention, basic counselling techniques, clinical nutrition and emergency medicine

  • Naturopathic treatment tools such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, traditional chinese medicine (TCM), homeopathy (use of dilute medicines), hydrotherapy (use of water of different temperatures to affect circulation and healing), and physical medicine (including basic massage techniques, orthopedic testing, manipulations similar to those a chiropractor might use, and therapeutic exercise)

Naturopathic Doctors must also pass rigorous board exams after years two and four of the program.

We must also participate in continuing education and maintain standards of practice to stay licensed in the province of Ontario.

All Naturopathic doctors are trained in phlebotomy, and some undergo additional training to become certified in intravenous (IV) therapy.

Some Naturopathic Doctors participate in one or two year residencies after graduating from naturopathic college, though residencies are currently optional for naturopathic doctors.

Some Naturopathic Doctors pursue advanced training upon graduating from naturopathic college depending on their practice and their professional interests.

SCOPE OF PRACTICE (WHAT WE ARE LEGALLY ALLOWED TO DO AS NDS)

In North America, though all NDs are trained to do the following, in Ontario, we cannot practice to our full scope. Currently we cannot:

  • Order public health lab testing (eg. HIV, Hepatitis) – though we do have access to many conventional lab tests (eg. thyroid testing, cholesterol)

  • Administer vaccines (Yes, in some jurisdictions NDs can administer vaccines)

  • Prescribe primary care medications (eg. antibiotics, birth control pills, blood pressure medications)

  • Perform minor surgery (eg. stitching a wound in-office under local anesthetic)

  • Order imaging (eg. MRI, X-ray, Ultrasound)

Note: All Naturopathic Doctors in North America are trained to do the above.

*However, because healthcare is regulated at the provincial and state level our scope of practice (what we are legally allowed to do as NDs) varies depending on the laws present in the state or province we choose to practice in.

When a patient is in need of a service we cannot provide, we are trained to refer them to the appropriate healthcare professional.*

+ WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?

NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE IS A UNIQUE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are trained to diagnose and treat many health conditions, much like your family doctor or nurse practitioner. Our holistic approach and our philosophy of health and healing is what sets us apart.

We work with you to identify and treat the root cause of your health concerns, and create a personalized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and helps you achieve your health goals.

We take physical, mental-emotional, social, environmental and spiritual aspects into account to get a full picture of what is going on in terms of your health.

NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS ARE SWORN TO:

  • Serve humanity as practitioners of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Encourage you to strengthen your health and reduce risks for disease; though our practice, by education, and by example.
  • Continually improve our abilities as health care providers
  • Conduct our lives and practices with integrity and freedom from prejudice
  • Protect your privacy – keep confident what should not be divulged
  • Preserve the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations
  • Honour the principles of Naturopathic medicine

THE PRINCIPLES OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE INCLUDE:

  • First, do no harm – gentle yet effective care that matches the intensity of the disease process or imbalance

  • To co-operate with the healing power of nature – respecting and supporting your body’s natural tendency to heal

  • To address the underlying cause of disease – ideally, working with you to identify and remove the root cause of your symptoms so that you can heal; sometimes both the symptoms and the root cause are addressed at the same time

  • To heal the whole person through individualized treatment – we take a holistic approach; we listen to you and work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and helps you achieve your health goals

  • To teach the principals of healthy living and preventative medicine – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; health education empowers you to make informed choices and become an active participant in maintaining your health

+ WHAT IS A NATUROPATH OR NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR?

EXPERTS IN NATURAL AND PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE – PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS

Naturopaths or Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are trained to diagnose and treat many health conditions much like your family doctor or nurse practitioner. We are also experts in natural and preventative medicine.

We use a variety of therapeutic tools to meet your individual needs and preferences. We also work with you to address the underlying cause of your symptoms, and support your body in what it is trying to do.

We provide you with health information, and empower you to take a more active role in maintaining your health.

We also work closely with other members of your healthcare team, referring you for care when necessary.

A LEGALLY PROTECTED TERM – A REGULATED HEALTH CARE PROFESSION

In Ontario, and many other provinces and states across North America, the terms Naturopath and Naturopathic Doctor are legally protected. Naturopathic Medicine has been a regulated healthcare profession in Ontario since 1925.

However, since healthcare is regulated at the provincial and state level, Naturopathic medicine remains unregulated in several jurisdictions including Quebec. In Quebec, anyone can call themselves a Naturopath.

It is important to check that your Naturopath is registered with a licensing board, meaning they have completed a a 4-year post-graduate program at a CNME (Council on Naturopathic Medical Education) accredited school, rigorous licensing exams, and continue to meet regulatory requirements such as standards of practice and continuing education.

A list of registered Naturopaths in Ontario can be found on our Regulatory Board’s website.

+ WHAT BENEFITS DOES NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE OFFER ME AS A PATIENT?

Naturopathic doctors provide a confidential and neutral space for you to explore mainstream medical options as well as complementary and alternative options.

We listen to you. We take the time to answer your questions, address your concerns, and get a full picture of what is going on in terms of your health.

We provide health education, and empower you to make informed choices about your healthcare, and manage your own health long-term.

ACCESS TO UNIQUE TREATMENT TOOLS

  • Effective treatments for many conditions
  • Many gentle treatment options

LONGER VISITS

  • More time to answer questions
  • More time to get a full picture of what is going on in your case and address your concerns
  • More time to provide health education and present and explain different treatment options

COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS

  • Understanding interactions between mainstream medical treatments and natural remedies or therapies; avoiding them when necessary, or using them to your advantage.
  • Decreasing side effects
  • Increasing treatment effectiveness
  • Explaining and monitoring alternatives to regular medical treatment

A PATIENT-CENTRED AND PRO-ACTIVE APPROACH

  • You will be spoken to in language that you understand about your health care options; both mainstream medical options and natural options
  • You are empowered to make informed choices about your healthcare
  • You are given information that will allow you to manage and maintain your own health, long-term
  • We work with other members of your healthcare team, referring you for care when necessary.

AN EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH

  • Naturopaths incorporate scientific research along with traditional knowledge, clinical experience, and patient preferences when working with you to create a personalized treatment plan that address the root cause of your health concerns, and fits your lifestyle.

A HOLISTIC APPROACH

  • We treat the whole person exploring physical, mental-emotional, social, environmental and spiritual aspects of your health

A FOCUS ON RESTORING HEALTH AND ALLOWING THE BODY TO HEAL ITSELF

  • Rather than simply controlling symptoms, we work with you to address the underlying cause of your health concern, helping to bring you back into balance
  • We respond to aggressive disease processes and address symptoms when necessary

+ WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A FIRST VISIT TO A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR?

In our office you can expect a great deal of personal attention, a thorough review of your case, a compassionate environment, and a wide range of healthcare services designed to help you meet your health goals and reach your fullest potential.

Naturopathic Doctors seek to understand each patient as a whole and all the factors which are impacting that individual’s health.

Like your medical doctor or nurse practitioner, a naturopathic doctor will take a thorough case history, and gather information from relevant physical exam, laboratory tests and imaging, provide you with preventative health information and work with you to provide effective treatment and help you achieve your health goals.

In contrast to your medical doctor or nurse practitioner, a naturopathic doctor may spend much more time with you as a patient one-on-one, have access to different therapeutic tools, and may offer a fresh perspective of your case which is more holistic and health-focused rather than disease-focused.

Naturopathic Doctors generally focus on restoring health and proper function rather than treating disease.

YOUR FIRST VISIT

Your first visit will consist of an initial consultation, a detailed health history, and any relevant physical exam.

Further laboratory tests may also be recommended or the results of testing that has been done in the past may be collected.

All of this information will help us in establishing a baseline measure of your health, in making initial treatment recommendations, and in monitoring your progress.

YOUR TREATMENT PLAN

Naturopathic doctors work with you to establish a treatment plan that addresses your health goals.

We work with you to create a healthy diet and lifestyle first and foremost.

We then stimulate your body’s ability to heal itself, support weakened or damaged organ systems, correct the structural integrity of the body, and work to address specific health concerns.

+ WHAT TREATMENTS MIGHT A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR RECOMMEND?

DIETARY ADVICE AND THERAPEUTIC NUTRITION:

  • Dietary changes (specific foods to include and/or avoid)
  • Food sources of specific nutrients
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Injections
  • IV therapies

LIFESTYLE COUNSELLING:

  • Eating patterns
  • Sleeping habits
  • Thought patterns
  • Water intake
  • Self-care
  • Other aspects of your daily routine

HERBAL REMEDIES

  • Herbal remedies in the forms of teas, pills, tinctures (herbs soaked in alcohol), creams, or other forms

HOMEOPATHY

  • Homeopathy involves the use of very dilute substances to help bring the body back into balance
  • A remedy is chosen that at normal doses would create similar symptoms to those you are experiencing in a healthy person.

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM), ACUPUNCTURE OR ACUPRESSURE, EAR ACUPUNCTURE OR ACUPRESSURE

  • Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of medicine based on observing imbalances that happen in nature and in living beings. It can include dietary and lifestyle advice, herbal remedies, acupuncture or acupressure of the body, ear or scalp as well as other therapies like moxa or moxibustion, electroacupuncture and cupping.
  • Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterilized, single-use, stainless steel needles, through the skin into underlying tissues at specific points on the body.
  • Acupressure is needle-free and simply involves gentle pressure at specific points on the body , typically with the thumbs. Acupressure can also be done at home / as a home therapy.
  • Ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture is acupuncture done at specific points on the ear. It is often used to help people quit smoking, stop drinking, or with other addictions. It can also be used for many other purposes such as insomnia, or to stimulate calm and relaxation
  • Ear acupressure is needle-free and is often done by taping small round seeds of the vaccaria plant discretely at specific points on the ear. The seeds typically stay in place for 3-4 days and patients can shower as normal. The seeds can be pressed by the patient or left alone. Ear seeds are often used for similar purposes as ear acupuncture however, the ear seeds can be done as a home therapy.

PHYSICAL MEDICINE, ADJUSTMENTS, MASSAGE AND OSTEOPATHIC TECHNIQUES

  • Physical medicine involves looking at and treating your physical body
  • It generally involves gentle manipulation of the soft tissue and/or bone
  • Naturopathic Doctors learn basic massage techniques
  • We also learn how to do adjustments or manipulation similar to those your chiropractor may use
  • Finally, Katrina is currently studying to become an Osteopath or Osteopathic Manual Practitioner
  • Osteopathy involves gentle manipulation of the bones, soft tissues and organs for therapeutic purposes

HYDROTHERAPY OR WATER THERAPY

  • Hydrotherapy or water therapy is the use of water as a healing medium
  • Different temperatures of water are used because of their effects on the circulation of the blood
  • Hydrotherapy or water therapy is often used to speed healing after a surgery or injury
  • It can also be used for other therapeutic purposes

OTHER THERAPIES

  • Over the counter medications
  • Working together with other healthcare providers

+ WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOMEOPATH AND A NATUROPATH?

THERE ARE TWO MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A HOMEOPATH AND A NATUROPATH

Firstly, homeopaths only use homeopathy as a treatment tool whereas naturopaths use homeopathy as one of many different treatment tools available to them.

Secondly, homeopaths are in the process of becoming regulated in the province of Ontario. This means that currently, anyone can call themselves a homeopath regardless of their training, whereas the term Naturopath or Naturopathic doctor is a legally protected term in Ontario, so only those who have completed appropriate training and are registered with our regulatory board may call themselves a Naturopath.

Homeopathy involves taking a detailed case history and using very dilute substances to help bring the body back into balance. A homeopathic remedy is chosen that at normal doses would create similar symptoms to those you are experiencing in a healthy person.

+ WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS CAN A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR ADDRESS?

NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS HELP WITH A WIDE RANGE OF HEALTH CONCERNS, INCLUDING...

Chronic / long-standing problems:

  • Abnormal PAPs
  • Allergies & environmental sensitivities
  • Angina
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Pre-diabetes and diabetes
  • Issues with erectile function or other sexual difficulties
  • Problems with digestion: constipation, irritable bowel, crohns, colitis
  • Recurrent health problems or injuries
  • Skin problems: eczema, psoriasis, acne

Acute / sudden problems:

  • Colds and flus
  • Ear and throat infections
  • Upset stomach

Mental health:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress in the workplace
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping, Insomnia
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Addictions (Smoking, drinking, other addictions)

Other health issues:

  • Weight loss or weight management
  • Healthy living at 60+
  • Eating for heart health

+ WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FOOD SENSITIVITY, A FOOD INTOLERANCE AND A FOOD ALLERGY? WHAT ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE?

FOOD ALLERGIES

Food allergies are less common than food intolerances, and are typically mediated by IgE antibodies and histamine – which can cause itching.

Food allergy symptoms are often sudden (seconds to minutes or in some cases hours) and can be quite severe or even life-threatening.

Reactions may become more severe with repeat exposure(s), or can also occur after exposure to very small amounts of the triggering food in someone who has already been exposed to this food.

People who suffer from a food allergy may need to carry an EpiPen or similar product for emergency self-treatment.

Common symptoms of food allergies include itching and hives, and in severe and potentially life-threatening cases, swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat.

The skin prick test in an allergist’s office tests for this type of antibody (IgE).

Food allergies are typically due to the immune system reacting to a protein within the triggering food as opposed to a sugar or a fat.

FOOD INTOLERANCES

Food intolerances are a broad category of adverse reactions to foods including but not limited to food poisoning, celiac disease, or lack of an enzyme needed to digest a food or sugar such as in lactose intolerance.

Most sources use the term food intolerance to mean any adverse reaction or perceived adverse reaction to a food that is not a true food allergy (i.e. not mediated by IgE antibodies).

Food sensitivities would also be in this category, but they are not typically acknowledged in mainstream medicine.

FOOD SENSITIVITIES

Food sensitivities are typically mediated by the IgG antibody, which is the main antibody in your gut.

IgG reactions are typically delayed and occur a few hours or even a few days after eating the triggering food.

The symptoms triggered by IgG antibodies can also come on more gradually than those triggered by IgE antibodies. This can make it difficult to identify which foods may be contributing to your symptoms, and these symptoms can become somewhat ‘normal’ to you.

IgG food sensitivities are not typically life-threatening but they can contribute to a variety of health concerns affecting almost any organ system in the body including IBS, Migraines, chronic headaches, chronic pain, joint pain, low energy, eczema, psoriasis, crohns, colitis, acid reflux, and even ADHD to name a few.

Similarly to food allergies, food sensitivities are also typically due to the immune system reacting to a protein within the triggering food as opposed to a sugar or a fat.

We offer two options for determining if food sensitivities may be contributing to your symptoms. There is an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) blood test, and/or an elimination-challenge diet where common or suspected foods are removed from the diet for a period of time and then re-introduced systematically to see what happens to your symptoms throughout this process.

Typically, for those that choose to do the blood test, we use the results of this test to guide a more specific elimination-challenge diet – to see if the foods that tested positively re-create your symptoms after being eliminated and then reintroduced into your diet in a systematic way. This way you can decide if it is worth it for you to continue eating those foods.

Some research has been done on IgG food sensitvities, mostly in patients with migraines and IBS (see the links below or do your own search on Pubmed – this is not an exhaustive list)

IgG-based elimination-challenge diet in patients with migraines (#1)

IgG-based elimination-challenge diet in patients with migraines (#2)

IgG-based elimination-challenge diet in patients with IBS (#1)

IgG-based elimination-challenge diet in patients with IBS (#2)

IgG-based elimination-challenge diet in patients with both migraines and IBS

WHAT ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE?

Celiac disease is not mediated by IgE antibodies and so it is considered a food intolerance by mainstream medicine.

Celiac disease results in dysfunction of the immune system, especially of the gut, because of its reaction to gluten, a protein found in many grains.

Patients with celiac disease can also suffer from a variety of other autoimmune conditions (where the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, because it has lost some of its ability to tell the difference between self and non-self).

For celiacs, the intestine can heal with removal of gluten from the diet. However, the damage returns if gluten is put back into the diet.

Gluten is found in a variety of grains including wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut and triticale. And several grains including oats are often contaminated with gluten.

CELIACS CAN EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS BASED ON THEIR AGE.

Typical symptoms in younger individuals can include abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea, and fat in the stool. Younger patients with celiac disease can also experience type 1 diabetes at the same time (another autoimmune condition).

OLDER PATIENTS WITH CELIAC DISEASE ARE OFTEN MISDIAGNOSED.

Middle aged adults with celiac disease often show up in their doctor’s office with autoimmune thyroid disease, iron-deficiency anemia, and low bone density or osteoporosis.

Older individuals with celiac disease often show up in their doctor’s office with nutritional deficiencies or symptoms affecting the nervous system including decreased coordination, decreased balance, altered sensation or numbness, all of which can increase one’s risk of falling, as well as decreased mental function.

Celiac disease is associated with many other conditions including: recurrent miscarriages, infertility, short stature, canker sores, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and cancers of the gut, especially lymphomas. However, a gluten free diet protects against cancers of the gut in celiacs. Please contact your health care provider for more information about celiac disease.

+ WHAT IS A 'DETOX'?

A detox is basically a period of time when someone avoids and/or attempts to rid themselves of toxic or unhealthy substances.

Think about it, if you were still exposing yourself to the substance you’re trying to avoid or rid yourself of during a detox, or even if you return to exposing yourself to a toxic substance after a detox, that would kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it?

Sometimes a detox can involve thought patterns, behaviours, emotional expression or a change in social relationships as well.

The body has primary and secondary organs of detoxification that help us deal with many of the substances we are exposed to or that our body produces each day, so a detox can also involve supporting these organs so that they may work more effectively.

The simplest form of detox involves making an effort to avoid something toxic or unhealthy for a period of time.

If the body cannot rid itself of toxic substances sometimes they are simply stored in the body. Sometimes this is the safest place for them to stay for the time being. (eg. in pregnancy, or if any primary or secondary organs of elimination are not functioning optimally)

Many cultures have detox practices interwoven into their daily or yearly lives (eg. lent, scandinavian saunas, or hot followed by cold). Some view the spring and fall as the best times of year to do a detox because these are the transitional seasons between winter and summer.

A detox does not have to involve fancy or expensive herbal or healthcare products. There are gentle activities and seasonal foods that we can incorporate into our daily lives to help support our body’s natural ability to detox. (eg. emotional or artistic expression, drinking adequate clean water, sweating, or encouraging proper functioning of the bowels).

+ WHAT SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD I BE TAKING?

This is a complicated yet common question and the answer is that it depends on a number of factors including you as an individual, your health concerns or health goals, what your preferences are, what you are expecting the supplement to do for you, and whether a suitable and safe product at the correct dose, in the correct form, with adequate quality assurance testing is available.

People take supplements for a variety of reasons, for example, for preventative health, to address a health concern or achieve a health goal, or to decrease side-effects or counteract nutrient depletion from a mainstream medical treatment or medication.

Your naturopathic doctor can help you determine which, if any, supplements may be beneficial in your case. Naturopaths are trained to understand supplements and herbal products, quality assurance issues, and any interactions with conventional medications.

We can also work with other members of your healthcare team such as your family doctor, nurse practitioner or pharmacist to determine which if any supplements may be helpful in your case.

We also work with you to establish a health diet and lifestyle first and foremost, and are familiar with food sources of various nutrients.

+ WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?

LINKS ABOUT NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE

  • The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors has some information about naturopathic medicine.
  • The Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors has some information about naturopathic medicine, about naturopathic doctors, how we treat, and some Frequently Asked Questions. They also do a free newsletter for the public.
  • Our Regulatory board has some information about naturopathic medicine and the tools we use.
  • The Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians has some information about naturopathic cancer care.

OTHER RESOURCES

  • Request Katrina as a guest speaker at your next community group, church group, office group or support group meeting
  • Sign up for our clinic newsletter
  • Check out one of our upcoming events
  • Check out our online resources section for lots of fun, informative articles.

Not yet a patient with RCRC? Learn more about our naturopathic services by clicking here.